Cross River South Stakeholders Seek Recall of Senator

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Sunday Okobi

A group known as Cross River South Stakeholders has petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as a move to recall Senator Gershom Bassey for allegedly abandoning them during the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

The group in a statement issued yesterday said it signaled the intention of the people of Southern senatorial district of Cross River State to recall their senator, Bassey, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the Senate because they cannot feel his presence mostly when needed.

The group in its letter of intent to INEC on the planned recall, which was signed by High Chief Ita Ewa Henshaw, accused the senator of alleged abdication and dereliction of his duties, leaving the district with no representation at the Senate alleging that, “he has abandoned the people over the years, especially at this period when every representative of the people is with their people helping them to battle the effect of COVID – 19.”

The stakeholders in the statement said: “The ‘no love lost’ relationship between Senator Bassey and his people is something that may have started from when he first won the senatorial election in 2015 to represent the people, as he was said to have neglected his people shortly after, which made them to decide to denied him a second term ticket but was prevailed upon by the elders and leadership of the party, with the promise that he would change his ways.

“Tired of enduring the untold hardship his representation has brought to the people, we decided to move against the Senator who took over from Senator Bassey Otu in 2015.”

‘‘Since his re-election to the Senate in 2019, Senator Bassey has completely abandoned and abdicated his role as a representative of his area. He had since his last term completely moved his entire family from Calabar to Lagos, and when he is not outside the country shuttling between England and America, our senator shuttles between Lagos and Abuja.’’

What is even more painful, according to the group, is that: ‘‘During this nationwide lockdown when representatives of various constituents have spent time with their people or reached out to their constituents with palliatives, our senator has never bothered to come to Calabar or reach out to us his constituents.’’

The group also accused him of causing disaffection and division within the party at both the local and state levels, saying he has taken over the party’s structure working in partnership with the National Organising Secretary.